It is important to understand what contributes to the risk of getting skin cancer and how to help prevent yourself, family and friends from developing it. Research has shown that overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the number one cause of skin cancer. UV radiation penetrates the skin and causes cell damage that can potentially develop into skin cancer over time. The major source of UV radiation exposure encountered on a daily basis is transmitted from the sun. Artificial sunlight, produced from tanning bulbs and lamps, also yields harmful UV radiation to the skin.

There are multiple ways to prevent overexposure to UV radiation. Limiting sun exposure, applying appropriate sunscreen often, wearing protective clothing and avoiding tanning bulbs/lamps are ways to keep your skin healthy and lower the risk of developing skin cancer.

Your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays from the sun throughout the day. Even on cloudy days, UV rays can penetrate your skin and cause damage. The intensity of the sun’s rays is greatest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but skin damage can occur from sunup to sundown. If you are outside in the sun, here are things to remember to limit sun exposure:

  • Seek out shady areas to avoid direct contact with UV rays
  • Surfaces such as water, snow and sand act as reflectors and increase exposure to the sun’s UV rays
  • All types of skin can be damaged by sun exposure, regardless of tone or color

Other Important Information

Know Your Spots

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Statistics

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Dermatopathology

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Become a Spotter

Educate yourself to spot changes in the skin
that could potentially be a risk to your health.